A barely clothed man, wearing nothing but a green jacket, approached Waffle House restaurant in Antioch on Sunday and used an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle to kill two people outside the restaurant. He then went inside the building and continued firing, killing two more and injuring few others till a patron, James Shaw Jr., was able to wrestle the weapon away from the gunman.
The suspect, identified as 29-year-old Travis Reinking from Morton, Illinois, who is still absconding, was delusional and believed that Taylor Swift was harassing him by stalking and hacking his phone. Authorities are of the opinion that he was suffering from mental health issues. The Metro Nashville Police believed that he went back to his apartment, put on a pair of pants and escaped to the woods.
According to the Tazewell County Sheriff Robert Huston, “There is evidence there is some mental health issues involved.” The area officers are on alert as Reinking could be anywhere with a distinct possibility of returning home. As per the police, Reinking should be considered armed and dangerous; he may have two weapons with him; a rifle and a handgun. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has added Reinking to its Top 10 Most Wanted list and launched a massive manhunt for the shooter.
The latest shooting is Antioch’s second mass shooting in seven months.
Tennessee shootout suspect was suicidal, delusional and had access to firearms
As per the police reports, Reinking had experienced a delusional episode in his hometown in May 2016 believing that the singer was stalking him. He thought that his family and police were also involved. He did not want to hurt the singer but only wanted the harassment to stop. Reinking had told police that the harassment started a few weeks earlier when Swift hacked his Netflix account, asked him to meet but disappeared when he reached. When the police officers asked him to go to a hospital for evaluation, Reinking resisted and went much against his will. According to his parents, Reinking had made suicide threats previously and had access to many firearms at his residence.
On July 7, 2017, the suspect was arrested by the U.S. secret service and charged with unlawful entry after he crossed an exterior security barrier near the White House to meet President Donald Trump. A month later, Reinking’s Illinois firearms authorization was revoked and four weapons (including the one used in the shooting) were seized. The arms were later given to Reinking’s father with the understanding that they would not be returned to the son. Reinking was free of the charges after he completed the community service.
Reinking had recently moved to Nashville, Tennessee where he started working in construction but got fired three weeks ago. He then started work with another construction company but did not show up for work since the first day. He stayed in his vehicle for three-four minutes watching people in the restaurant before going on the killing spree.
Seek help for mental health problems
If you know someone suffering from any kind of mental illness, it is time to seek professional help. At the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline, we have trained specialists who are available 24/7 to listen, counsel and guide you or your loved ones in the right direction to get the much needed support. Our representatives can answer all your queries about mental health disorders, help you identify the symptoms and support you in finding the best mental health rehab center as per your needs. Call us at our 24/7 helpline (855) 653-8178 or chat live with a member of our team any time of the day to have your queries answered.